If you live on the East Coast (or even if you don't), you're probably aware that Hurricane Irene is expected to travel up the I-95 corridor this weekend. New York City already has announced that its public transportation will shut down beginning at noon on Saturday. This combination of dangerous weather conditions and a lack of mass transit (/Mass transit?) has some Catholics worried about how they'll fulfill their Sunday obligation.
Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York has tried to put minds at ease. In a statement today he urged the faithful to put safety first:
“With all of our friends and neighbors here in the community we love, we in the Catholic family are united in prayer for protection from the impending storm, and eager to offer refuge and help to those who may be endangered or harmed.
Catholics take Sunday mass very seriously, but the Church never asks us to risk our health or safety to get to church on the Lord’s Day. Please be careful! Do not take any chance with your safety and health if things get dangerous.
Our extensive network of parishes, schools, Catholic Charities, health care institutions, and residential facilities are cooperating fully with our public safety officials, and stand ready to assist in all efforts of outreach and help.”
+Timothy M. Dolan
Archbishop of New York
Our prayers go out for the safety of all in the path of the storm this weekend.